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Setting stage for the topic to make IWT happen

The Government on taking office in June 2014 quickly
moved on a policy matter to review / repeal all old
legislation especially from the colonial past
IV Act, 1917 as amended 2007 is one such Act that is
under comprehensive revision
IWT has here to before been a neglected sector water
never featured as important for navigation
2007 amendment mainly introduced overdue pollution
prevention and insurance angle and attempted to
increase scope of I V limits based on criterion incuding
weather as function of significant wave height
RHINE, SEVERN took 100 years to develop, we have
lost 70 years in recognising water is for navigation too 3
To increase freight transport in India by water so as to
reap the benefits of cheaper, environment friendly and
safer mode of transport thereby contributing to
reduction in transport carbon foot print and logistic
costs which in India are one of the highest in the world
Seamless transfer of freight between sea going coastal
and IWT bringing end user closer to water land
Gap analysis between the old and new proposals
against desirable outcome as decided in well attended
Mumbai workshop
Japan, China, EU have thousands of Inland vessels
often family owned just like trucking industry
The Act was designed to just regulate country crafts
not as part of infrastructure necessity as road rail were
needed to govern the country
The Act mainly required definin g I V limits, some
basics of vessel size, capacity and its operation limitsx
To state basic crew requirement and terms prevalent
Requiring local governments to frame required rules
which many did not or keep in step post independence
However, IWAI Model rules cannot be mixed in new
Bearing in mind structure of Indian Constitution and
enabling primary legislation therefor, certain activities
such as Ports and Inland Vessels is a State subject
The new IV Act has been drafted as a Central piece of
Primary Legislation of the central Government to be
implemented by respective State Government
In addition to declared National Waterways, NW1
NW5, the Central Government is proposing to make
another 106 national waterways so as to bring water
interface closer to end user

The old IV Act of the colonial era was mainly to regulate vessels
of that time
There have been both commercial and technical practices giving
rise to wide variety of vessels and trade suitable for Inland water
transport as is seen in Japan, China, EU and USA
The new Act therefore encompasses PREAMBLE object and
purpose and several parts like the Indian Merchant Shipping Act
to lay down mandatory minimum requirements:
Administrative Control; Survey; Registration; Crew; Navigation;
Pollution Prevention; Wreck & Salvage; Limitation of Liability;
Insurance; Independent Investigation; Trade Practices;
Miscellaneous and Penal Provisions
No reference to STCW I V as origanally propoised

PREAMBLE is in the format of IMO Resolution / recommendation and needs
to be changed to crisp objective / purpose as in the Merchant Shipping Act
PART IApplication and the scope of the Act need only be for
mechanically propelled Inland Vessels qualified to be registered in India or
operated in Indian waters with a save all clause for taking on board powers of
the Government to notify application of one or more parts to other kinds of
mechanically propelled Inland Vessels
Bureau of Indian Standards should be defined in Section 3 as also
Pleasure Craft, Recognized Organizations, Company , IWAI as nodal agency for
this Central Act; Reception Facility as State obligation; Wreck Provisions as in
MS Act and Zones with reference to distance from shore or defined baseline
subject to measure of weather represented by significant wave height
Several definitions are unnecessarily clouding the draft text such
as Authorized Insurer, Casualty, Certificate of Insurance, Cover note, Court,
Fishing Vessels, Hull Identification Number, Marking of a vessel, Material fact,
Navigable Water, Pilot, Priority of Lien, Service Provider, Service User, Special
Category of Vessels and waterline
The new Act should clearly stipulate what Central database is
and who should be maintaining and how it is to be mandated
High Court in lieu of Court as is done in Merchant Shipping Act
as final Arbiter of dispute resolution under this Act
This Act should not have any bearing on non propelled Inland
Vessels, Pleasure Vessels or Fishing Vessels business of local
self government
Nor mandatory Class requirement that being option of owner
operator given proximity of land, assistance, other available
Reference to Salvage should be in accordance with MS Act
Central to this Act is clear definition of Inland waters and Zones
therein as now notified by the Government being 5 miles
seawards of the baseline subject to safe fair weather criterion as a
function of significant wave height

PART II Administrative Provisions should primarily mandate setting up of Maritime
Boards and requiring rules to be made by them for implementation of this Act within 6
months of this Act being Gazetted and then Appellate Authority established under the
Central Government outside the nodal agency i.e. IWAI.
Reference to competent Authority and State Government / Maritime Board should be
clearly established in this Part together with establishment of Advisory Committee like
the National Shipping Board having access to the highest levels of the State Government
and comprising of representatives and experts in the field of Inland Water transport.
There is no scope for retaining reference to local self Administration who are authorized
to deal with non mechanically propelled Inland Vessels.
Part III Survey should only be enabler giving power to make rules there under inter
alia requirement for Class or another competent approval for deign, construction,
equipment, procedures for Survey, Certification, validity of survey, qualifications of
Surveyors, their powers that can be exercised under State Governments and / or
competent authorities .
Statement of limitations w.r.t. trading, pattern of trade, carriage of cargo or passengers or
both , measures of Pollution Prevention evidencing Radio Communication, Navigation
Aids, use of fuel.
Certificate of Survey as a minimum issued under this Act should be for a period of [2
In this Act , there is no need for providing Provisional Certificate
of Survey or Provisional Certificate of Registry although there is
merit for having such provision in sea going vessels.
Part III Section 17 & 18 with reference to Suspension of
Certificates or delivery of expired Certificates should be
condensed with details to be given in the rules as appropriate
Part IV - Registration needs to be clearly stated w.r.t. obligation
to register by stated authority in the State Government with
proviso that different registers could be maintained for different
types of vessels and trade, maintenance of Central Register so
that Certificate of Registry issued in one State is valid
throughout India.
Detail in Sections 22 does not fit in the text of Central Act and
should be best left for rules made there under.
Section 35 etc. regarding mortgage should be dealt as per common law
prevailing or detail transferred to a schedule to the Act as has been done by the
UK Merchant Shipping Act
To enable quick growth of Inland Vessel fleet, new provision should be added
w.r.t. bareboat charter
Part V regarding crew need only require minimum requirements of age,
identity , basic safety training and possession of authorized engagement letter
and certificate of competency for service on Inland vessels with details in rule
making powers of this part
Part VI Special Category of Vessels should be deleted in lieu of save all
clause in the scope and application of the Act
Part VII w.r.t. navigation should mandate provision of minimum State
obligation for providing navigational aids in National waterways and prescribe
minimum equipment , signals, radio equipment, Life Saving and Fire Fighting
Appliances as appropriate. DG Order 1 of 2014 should be considered for
replacing context of this part in the body of the Act or as a separate schedule
below which the State Governments may not make rules for this purpose
Part VIII Inland Vessel Accidental Pollution of Inland waterways should be
seen in the light of mandatory minimum obligation of the company and the
State and include fitness for its purpose in the Certificate of Survey
Part IX- Wreck and Salvage to mirror provisions in the MS Act
Part X Limitation of liability is new concept here and needs to be relooked
Part XI Insurance should mirror the provisions of Motor Vehicle Act with
minimum requirement of insurance against Pollution, damage to terminals and
wreck with other details Sec 76-89 - for crew and vessel in the rules made there
under as per national practice
Part XII Independent investigation needs to be emphatic in mandating the
process from preliminary investigation followed by established code of practice of
detailed investigation by tribunal, publication of lessons learnt and legal
proceedings as appropriate
Part XIII Trade Practices is a complex subject requiring if at all at this juncture
to require all who take part in shipment to be in organized sector and powers to
make rules especially for carriage of dangerous / hazardous goods as per
established practice and prohibition clearly spelt out if any
Part XIV Non-Mechanically Propelled Inland Vessel to be deleted in favour of
State subject and business of local self Government
Part XV - Miscellaneous Provisions are unlikely to be accepted by the States
Part XVI Penal Provisions are unlikely to be accepted by the States

New I V Act should be crisp, short and simple
Facilitate IWT thru nodal agency IWAI , MB / Competant
authority mandated in the Act for pan India like MV Act
Provide for e governance
Enabling provisions to ensure no bottlenecks in rules made
under this Act by the States so as not to hamper inter State
movement of inland vessels
Encourage investment into IWT from hinterland
Stipulate only minimum mandatory manning
requirements including minimum mandatory hands on
training with details of certification in the State rules

The new Act should be short, simple and effective pan
Legal processes should be as are applied in case of MV
State rules should be mandated in given time and not
less than the minimum mandatory requirement given
in the Act
The Act should clearly state who is nodal agency
IWAI / Jal Vikas marg authority and State Maritime
Boards / Competant authority for implementation like
To discuss the outcome of these deliberations at the next
workshop in Goa in presence of State Maritime Boards or
equivalent Competent Authorities curity
DG order 1/2015 elaborating on new IV limits should be
used immediately for making progress in IWT sector
Safety security pollution prevention should be required to
be ensured by management by adopting use of formal
systems in implementing Part III good governance !!!
NSB pending advisory committee/s formation monitor the
setting up of new Act, rules to be framed there under like
IWAI model rules, regulator etc. by feeding into MSDC
YES we can too
Capt. S. V. Subhedar
Past President
ICC Shipping Association
Mobile no.: +91 9823158057